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Dell unveils XP Downgrade Plan

by on20 June 2008


No surprise, it is going to cost more than XP did

As we told you last week, Dell is currently transitioning over to Microsoft Windows Vista as the standard load on its PCs moving forward. However, many customers, especially corporate and enterprise customers, are not ready or unwilling to make the transition over to Windows Vista and would rather stay on Windows XP. In response to these customer requests, Dell will take advantage of the “downgrade” option offered by Microsoft to get Windows XP to customers that want it.

The downgrade option from Microsoft has been around for years, but until now it has never been used on this scale. The only problem is that if you take advantage of this the Vista “Downgrade” to XP option through Dell, in most cases it is going to cost you.

First, it is important to understand that the downgrade option only exists if you buy either Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate. (This stands to reason as it is the only two versions of Vista that allow you to join the computer to a domain.) Of course, if you step up to the Business or Ultimate edition of Vista that is going to cost you right away. This translates into an extra $99 for Vista Business or $149 for Vista Ultimate.

Next, after you didn’t pay the extra money to buy a business class Latitude, Precision, or Optiplex system, you will have to buy what is being called the “Bonus” version of the OS. The “Bonus” is really nothing more than a fee charged to do a pre-downgrade and load of Windows XP for you on your new system. This option will be primarily used in the Vostro product line.

From what we can find out, Dell will not be offering downgrades to XP for their Inspiron line. Still, the Dell gaming line looks to offer the downgrade service for free on the 630, 720 H2C, and the M1730 notebooks.

While the policy to be able to provide Windows XP even at a cost is sure to please some users, other users are going to be understandably unhappy with Dell’s new policy. For business and enterprise customers that don’t want to move to XP, the option of being able to stay with XP should make the cost worth it.

Last modified on 20 June 2008
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